Is there a difference between spiritual seeking and surrendering to Truth? When we are seeking spirituality our primary goal is the experience of a spiritual "high" that will some day grow from being an occasional "high" to a consistent one. This is what many think enlightenment is - an experience that we search for and hopefully, one day, we find and keep. We think we can acquire it with practice, discipline, and accumulated knowledge on the subject. The problem with this perception of spiritual seeking is:
- Who is doing the seeking? The ego or the Unified Self? The Unified Self is Whole and Infinitely interconnected; it needs no result, knowledge, training, or seeking. On the other hand, the ego thrives on seeking especially for enlightened or spiritual "highs", anything but the Truth which will reveal and demolish the ego.
- Seeking often sets up an expectation of achieving something that is both in the future and is an experience with spiritual value, rather than revealing the Truth of What Is.
We can get hooked on positive experiences or spiritual "highs"; then we fall flat again once they recede. Getting addicted to achieving spiritual experiences is not Liberation and will rarely take us to Truth. Occasionally the euphoric experiences often felt in Stage 4 can be addictive. That is why it is important to stay forever focused on asking for Truth rather than seeking an experience.
We do not yet know who we are or what our Purpose is. Looking for an experience called enlightenment is not really going to take us there. What we really need to ask for and look at is Truth. Truth is beyond any experience because it reveals the Infinite Love that we are. Seeking spiritual experiences implies that we need to acquire something in order to become more spiritually advanced. Acquiring is a nice way to say getting and to become is a soft way to say you're not there yet (in the now.) Both meanings come from ego perception and are not real. The ego cleverly attempts to mask itself as the Universal Inspiration and with its navigational skill steers us everywhere else but to the ego's hiding place. All this is executed in the name of spiritual seeking.
When we think of the word, "enlightenment", we tend to associate it with a process that involves persistent seeking, improving and learning. Many present-day teachings paint a rather future-oriented view of Self-realization which focuses on achieving spiritual experiences, deeper meditation, blissful states, and more spiritual knowledge. Often included in spiritual workshops may be techniques to enrich our lives, along with information on how to "know" ourselves more deeply. While all this information is positively geared toward helping us connect with our higher nature and purpose, it will not, of itself, bring enlightenment.
If we are intent on Self-realization or enlightenment it is important to ask ourselves consistently just "who" is the one that needs more knowledge and improvement? It must be our mistaken identity, the ego. Enlightenment is a demolition project. We cannot get there without dismantling everything we think we know. It is about unlearning everything that keeps us tied into believing we must maintain control. Ego-release removes every block to the awareness of Love's presence that inhibits us from experiencing and knowing Love, Peace, Joy, and abundance. This is our identity and our purpose.
There is only here and now. The Unified Self is already enlightened; everyone is. This is not a state or experience to accomplish through external searching or internal improvement. There is nothing to search for or improve upon. The most difficult challenge we can possibly face is the act of surrender, the unconditional acceptance of What Is. This is releasing control. This is the ultimate humility born from the truthful acknowledgment of not-knowing.
The Truth reveals itself when we surrender the obstacles that obscure its presence. Truth is Love. The one obstacle to our knowing Love and therefore Truth, is our accepted identity, the ego. The way to remembering is through the Truth behind forgetting. In other words, the journey Home is one of surrendering, undoing, and unlearning through ego-release.
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